Monday, 24 January 2011

A little bit of this, a little bit of tat...

I'm back to tatting snowflakes - there are so many patterns available and I love their elegance and simplicity. This one is the Circle of Crowns snowflake from Jon Yusoff's Tatted Snowflake Collection, tatted in size 20 Lisbeth thread. I love all the designs in this book, and plan to complete them all over the coming months.

In other tatting news, I have just received two parcels from Australia full of tatting goodies discovered on eBay. The first parcel contained these two vintage tatting booklets - one from Australia and the other originally from New Zealand. There are some pretty designs which I think could be updated to make chokers and bracelets. The second parcel contained this gorgeous acetate tatting shuttle. Aren't the colours cheerful? I think I'll load this up with thread later on tonight and start tatting a little something.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

All fired up

Just before Mr Q and I headed down under for the Christmas break, we had a new fireplace fitted in our living room. Although it is nowhere near as cold as it was in December, we are enjoying the instant warmth of our new fire.


This is what our living room looked like on the morning of the installation. We live in an 1890s house, so this 1950s fireplace (although the height of fashion when our predecessors updated the house on moving in) looked out of place.

After a day of extreme noise, cold and dust, this is the end result...


The wooden fire surround is an early 20th century mahogany surround which was an absolute bargain on ebay. The cast iron insert came from a specialist fireplace restorer in Manchester. It is an Aesthetic Movement original from the 1870s or 1880s which has been beautifully restored, with a bespoke living flame gas fire made to fit. I love how the arch at the top of the mirror matches the arch on the cast iron insert itself. I could take the credit for matching them, but in fact it was a case of pure serendipity. It took Mr Q and I several hours of prowling the fireplace warehouse to pick this one out. We both made compromises from our initial choices, and thankfully we are both delighted with how this looks. There is still plenty to be done in here - new carpet, new curtains, new plaster and paint, but I am beginning to see our vision coming together.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

There and back again

Since my last post I've been to Queensland and back. I had planned to post while I was away but I was busy recovering from (suspected) swine flu, visiting family and friends, and generally kicking back. And then there was the drama of all the flooding. Almost everywhere we visited was hit by floods within days of us leaving or, in the case of Mr Q's grandmother's town, while we were there. I was astonished at the speed with which the water rose, engulfed the road, and lapped at the gates of her retirement village. In the end, we were lucky to make it to the airport, and since we've been home I've been feeling guilty that we escaped while so many have lost so much. To that end, I will be donating all profits from my etsy shop to the Queensland Premier's Disaster Relief Appeal this month.

Finally, I'll leave you with a couple of images of the contrast between the UK when we left in December and Queensland on the few glorious days we had - a difference of over 40 degrees C!

Wigan, December 2010

Sunshine Coast, December 2010

 Wigan, December 2010

Texas, Queensland, January 2011

 Inside of the train window, Wigan, December 2010

 Glenlyon Lake, Queensland, January 2011